Due to the geographic location of Germany, mine warfare was of vital importance for the German Navy, as it dictated its movement freedom. For minelaying purposes, the Navy of 1920-1935 had no dedicated minelayers, instead all other ships (destroyers, cruisers etc.) had minelayer capabilities and should take over this role in war. In 1937 plans were made for dedicated minelayers, which were included into the Z-Plan. Four were planned, with another four to be ordered in case of mobilisation. The second batch would function as cadet- and artillery training ships and in reverse, the minelayers would take up this role in peacetime. All ships were ordered between 1938 and 1939, but cancelled with outbreak of the war.
The ship had a lenght of 145m, a displacement of 5,800t and a turbine engine for a top speed of 28kn. Armament included four 105mm twins, four 37mm twins and two 20mm singles. Up to 400 mines could be carried.
This is a later design, when the firepower had been increased and the onboard plane had been removed. More versions to come.
Any help and source material is always welcome.